Friday, December 26, 2008

Happier Times

By Libby Spencer

I'm really unphotogenic and I tend to avoid cameras so when someone asked me for a photo to use for a blogger Christmas card I had to send them a picture of a photo because I don't even have a scanner. I figure since it's going to be out there anyway now, I may as well post it here for those of you who have been reading me all this time and don't know what I look like. The pix is about five years old but it was the most recent shot I could find that I was willing to circulate. It's a photo of me feeding a manatee that came up to the docks when I was vacationing in the Florida Keys.

That was one of the top ten coolest things that ever happened to me. You can't see it in the photo but the guy on the right is looking at the baby manatee, whose size was pretty intimidating on its own.

When they arrived I was in the water about up to my waist, just walking around looking at the sea bed. I had just started heading back to shore when I felt something bump me from behind. I turned around. It was the mother manatee. I had never seen one before and having this two ton fish bumping me in the butt freaked me out. I screamed and started running for the beach.

Meanwhile, everyone on the beach, including tiny children, knew what it was and went running into the water to play with it. Embarrassing. It took me a couple of hours to work up the nerve to touch it myself, but by the end, I was spending ten bucks a day on lettuce to feed her while she was hanging around.

Despite the shaky begining, and you would have laughed to see me quaking the first time I got in the water with her again, in the end it turned out to be a magical experience. One of the happiest times in my life.

(Cross-posted at The Impolitic.)

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